Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume III
212 — The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
Your telegram of 15 March. Following from Prime Minister for Prime Minister:
Your prompt reply to my message [No. 210] is very much appreciated. In the light of your comments we have again studied the situation as objectively as possible. I am sorry to say we are quite unable to agree with the views expressed in your paragraph 5 that anything in the nature of a serious invasion of New Zealand or Australia is unlikely, and we must make it plain to you that nothing you have said has removed our grave apprehension lest the reinforcement which it is intended to send to us from the United States may prove to be too weak or too late or both. We reaffirm our conviction that the retention of Australia and New Zealand as strongpoints for gathering our forces during the defensive period and as essential bases for offensive action when the time arrives is absolutely vital to the Allied cause in the Pacific, and that the Japanese must be fully cognisant of this and may well act accordingly. Having said this, we feel that there is nothing more that we can usefully say, except to page 247 renew our most earnest and urgent representations that both you and President Roosevelt will do all in your power to strengthen our position in this part of the world at the earliest possible moment.